By Olumide G. Adeyinka
Today, it is a very mixed emotional reaction of sadness overwhelmed by joy at the formal announcement of the death of the former Libyan Leader, Col. Moummar Quadafi. Sadness in the sense that a man so endowed by
nature (but disrobed by nurture) grandly supported by people’s power in the 1969 revolution (inevitably denounced into kaput by the force of people’s anger), a man who was bold and brave enough to have represented the best beauty of Africa in leadership (but obviously lacking in the mental stability and astuteness), a man who was solidly ennobled to be a Prince of his people and a standard of rule and authority in Africa (who garrulously lost the mantle of necessity and became a representation of a perfidious exhibitionist malady of leadership that has blighted Africa since modernity), a man with an initial pan-African mind (but obliterated by a disparate interest for fame and crassness), a man who had a golden chance for 42 years (but mostly expended on arbitrary violence against perceived enemies in and out of Libya), a man I would have loved in death but now mourn in exclusive celebration of freedom for Libyans.
It should have been a sad day for African liberation but it is really a good day of internal freedom from oppression and servitude of some of those who think they are better-born citizens of a glorious enclave seeking recognition, those who think they are more African than the rest of us. My joy is not that a man died the death of a wandering dog but that a lacerated mind of high-handedness and contagious slavery has come to an end in one of African nations. Quadafi represented oppression and groveling violence of grave acerbity against the majority of his own people. Quadafi sees Western oppression as foreign and evil, but sees internal oppression as golden opportunity to keep servitude as the benchmark of African leadership school of thought. Shouldn’t oppression be defined beyond the coffers or region or seas? I am glad that one of many institutions of eccentric and atrocious leadership in Africa is gone for good. That is why my joy is superior to my feeling of sadness for the loss of greatness that stumbled on the platform of lack of self-control.
One can recollect the story behind the 1969 Revolution in Libya that toppled the monarchy and brought a people’s general to power in a circumstance that was seen as liberation for the people of the oil-rich state of Libya. Prosperity began to evolve during the early days of a pretending tyrant who sees power as personal and public authority as family inheritance. Not long after then a popular Quadafi began to transform himself into a stooge of his own depraved mind involuntarily controlled by the insatiable lust for fame beyond the borders of his mandate. International waters became Quadafi’s best shores of interest. He later found out that the green field of Pan-Africanism is a veritable medium to launch himself into the terrain of an Africanist. In the 80s, all he wanted was a united African state that bears Quadafi. He single handedly declared war against the West and imperialism but was not trained in the character of a leader like Nyerere or Thomas Sankara. He was a brute wanting to fight against a brute! His selfish desire for a free Africa and the rhetoric was exposed by the resentful and invidious climate of his rule in Libya.
Today, there are so many uneducated haters of the West who claim Africa’s liberty is being withheld by the selfish economic game of the West led by United States of America. To an extent, that is true but what is wrong with a nation wanting to protect its own economic well-being? If oppression is evil is it relative? If leadership is selfless, where is the place of selfishness? If power is derived from the people, where then is the place for family succession? If 1969 monarchy is bad what makes 2011 emperorship good? If you fight for Africa, why will you kill Africans? If oppression were satanic, would it be angelic if it were against your own? What makes segregation of other tribes within a nation anything less than apathy?
To those who think they do Africa any good by celebrating its oppressors and those who hold us to servitude, think twice. If your hatred for the West is as a result of imperialism and recolonization or neocolonization, then it should translate into same attitude for those within the confines of Africa impugning on the rights and privileges of Africans. Don’t call an outside a thief for stealing a loaf of bread and hail your son for doing same all in the name of … Africa. Give me a break!
In all of this development, one lesson the entrapped followership in Africa should understand is the need to arise and fight for what you are worth. I say this often – you are worth what you take, whether in marriage or business, government or the governed. There is the need to realize that it is never possible to have the outside world come to start your revolution for better life and governance. They can only support through the charter of humanitarianism of the United Nations. The question then becomes when will the other nations of Africa in total abuse and depravity arise to ask for their rights and freedom. If we all rise to confront oppression, we are guaranteed to win the battle no matter how long it takes. People’s power cannot be fully suppressed.
Another lesson for African followership is that sentiments of tribal identification, religious membership, and regional bigotry are shallow and disputable in an environment where sanity and intellectualism prevail. The game most prolonged leaders in Africa play, and those who rig elections to entrench themselves in power or their cronies, is best obnoxious and attritious. It is egregious and obfuscating to the simple-minded whose folly still makes them celeberate failure as landmarks. How else can you explain what is going on in some of the African nations especially Nigeria?
One good lesson the present story of the great fall of Quadafi should teach the oppressors of Africans is that the game of divide and rule could only last for a moment. There is nemesis and the law of Karma. Whatever you sow will be reaped in abundance. Quadafi at his death begged a “roving dog” not to shoot him. What an irony! I am sure he will be ready to put down all he had for his life to be spared. How would he appear before his creator for judgment in his state of “immortality”? His thoughts of the last moment can only be imagined; as it was obvious his end has finally come. Judgment now follows!
The last lesson here is for those who believe NATO and America did all of this for Libyan oil. It must be told that Libya before and after Quadafi will still get paid for every barrel of oil that goes from their shores to NATO nations and America. The price to pay is to be determined by OPEC and the forces of the international market. Don’t be easily fooled into the believism of the West as the only enemy of Africa or the rhetoric of imperialism when it is obvious our own have always betrayed us to our faces. If they are not betraying us to the naughtiness of the West, they betray us daily to the ephemerality of their selfish avaricious lifestyle.
How I wish Quadafi had stayed with the script of divinity to champion the cause of civility and emancipation with his own people as a model for the African mandate. How I wish Quadafi had died a Pan-Africanist, a fighter for liberation, and judge of equity. But alas! He died like a dog on a street of insatiable greed. He died in the hole of a pipeline like a rat. Why pipeline? Holding on to Libyan oil as if it is a prized trophy he won. He died, not alone, but with sons who though educated, but not liberated in the mind for equality of humanity in the eyes of divinity.
Quadafi speaks today these three words of advice to the rulers, and the two-sided followers (those for and against him).
I mourn a loss but rejoice in the demise of bad rubbish.
Olumide G Adeyinka can be reached at